Teams tend to go through cycles. I have been a Yankee fan since I was an itty-bitty child. Tino Martinez was my favorite Yankee. I remember the dynasty in the late 90s - I thought they were always that good. After all, I only ever saw them win. But in reality, the Yankees were not always a winning team.
1973 was in the midst of the dark days for the New York Yankees. They hadn't been to the world series since 1964, and hadn't won one since 1962. Little did they know, the tides were about to change.
A Mr. George Steinbrenner purchased the Yankees in 1973 from CBS for a what now seems measly $10 million. He had a vision of victory year in and year out for his Yankees. In 1976 the Yankees were back on the winning track, having won the AL Pennant. In November of 1976, Steinbrenner signed free agent Reggie Jackson to a 5-year deal. Jackson helped lead the Yankees to two World Series Championships in 1977 and 1978.
In the 1980s, Steinbrenner utilized free agency as a way to bring in superstar, big-name players to his Yankees in hope of creating the ultimate team. Unfortunately, his planned backfired and the Yankee failed to win a championship in the 80s. Steinbrenner learned from his mistakes. In the 1990s, he constructed teams with players who coexisted cohesively - those were the ultimate winning teams.
Thanks to George, the Yankees have a strict winning mindest. Thanks to George, the Yankees have a beautiful-beyond-words new ballpark to make history in. Thanks to George, millions of fans just like me have the best team in the world of sports to root our hearts out for.
Despite any faults he may have had, George Steinbrenner was an amazing person. There will never be another owner like him. Unlike others, he selflessly invested his money back into the team - creating the most dominant franchise in all of sports. He was the greatest Boss the world will ever know.
It's a shame that George Steinbrenner is gone. But at least he was able to witness his beloved Yankees win #27 here on Earth before he passed on.
Hopefully, he will witness #28 this year from the best seat in Heaven.
by Virginia Califano
Virginia writes her own Yankees blog, "Live, Eat, and Breathe Yankees" at http://southernbelle.mlblogs.com
Questions? Comments? Contact Virginia at firstname.lastname@example.org